Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Play to Win

S: "Jay, do you ever not win?"

Me: "No."

Maybe it's just me, but the world of work seems to be more competitive than ever. Whether people are jockeying for a new opportunity; or like me, are working hard to grow the company they work for to its fullest potential.

That includes finding the best talent.

Don't Just Play
As the crushing force of political correctness invades the world of work, and in particular Human Resources, it seems increasingly distasteful to be ultra-competitive.


Am I a bad person if I push myself hard to be successful?
Am I perceived as uncaring if I don't take care of my competitors as well as I take care of my company?

What is going on? Have we all become so soft that the options are either you end up labeled as a cold-hearted capitalist, or an ineffective "leader" trying to win some sort of popularity contest...but never actually execute because that would require standing up to someone?

Play To Win
Despite all of the "correctness" that I'm supposed to conform to (...not happening, by the way...) I'm going to do everything in my power to represent the three brands that matter most:

- my own
- my organization's
- the clients my company works with


Nothing will stand in the way. There are too many amazing people working at my company, and candidly, they expect me to be more driven than any of our strongest competitors, regardless of their size.

How About You
Are you one of those people that believes there is enough for everyone, and if we all share everyone can win? 

I'm not.

There is simply too much riding on my success, and the success of the team of people I work with to risk doing anything less than my very best. 

Do you play to win? If the answer is no....why the hell not?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Answer My Fall

So much of our online personas are filled with "exciting" projects, "beautiful" locations, and "fantastic" people.

...and those are just my updates!

Real Life is Different
All kidding aside, those posts that we share actually are exciting, and beautiful and filled with fantastic people. It's what we don't post sometimes that impacts our lives far more than what we are willing to share.

I'm Good at Falling
As I grow...ahem...a bit older, it is clear that stumbling, and candidly falling flat is part of  how I roll. You might falter once in a while too.

How About You
How do you get through it? What are the strategies you use to not let a fall define you? Who are the people that you rely on...who you know will simply come along, pick you up, and push back out into the world?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

There Are No Rules

"The future of work will not include the archaic rules we cling to today."

How many times do you consider protocol before making a decision? When you think about what is "acceptable" in your workplace do your decisions change? Why?

Is there an established set of rules, policies or procedures that everyone must follow? Probably yes for some things, but I'm guessing not for how to raise issues, take risks, or God-forbid, identify break-through thinking.

So then, what is so powerful about protocol?

Corporate Culture
The answer I most often hear has to do with something called corporate culture. What surprises me most about this response is the inherent assumption that an organization has one homogenous culture. That is impossible.

Corporate cultures are actually made up of the dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of micro-cultures that exist at the team or department level. 

That is where the core values and mission of the organization must be effectively communicated and exemplified by leadership if a "corporate culture" is going to materialize at some higher level.

The Future of Rules
The only way I've been able to make real progress over the years was when I simply disregarded the norms, protocol, and generally risk-averse ineffectiveness of "modern" leadership.

The leaders of tomorrow are openly wondering why things move so slowly; why their big ideas do not get the obvious support they deserve; and how they can continue to push themselves to be more than they ever imagined.

How About You
I'm thrilled about the future of work. Candidly, I'm going to continue to lead as if the future is now.

Rules be damned.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, February 1, 2016

And Just Like That

There are different periods in our lives when the pace of change seems to come in waves. Maybe it's just me, but I seem to have significant personal and professional issues hit all at once.

One of the ways I've decided to manage the flood of emotions that comes with "so much" happening at the same time is to frame it all as a real blessing.

The self-talk goes something like this..."thank goodness this is all happening now, so I'll be done with these chaotic times all at once."

Um, that is not exactly how life works though.

The counterpoint to my thank-God-I'm-enduring-so-much-madness is that lots of change simply feels like a curse.

Now, I'm a pretty optimistic guy which is why my first reaction is usually in the "blessing" mindset.

But...there are times when the emotions gain control and my attitude gets sidetracked for a time.

That is how life works sometimes too.

How About You

What is your gut reaction to the reality of change in your life? Is it a burden...a opportunity to grow...or a curse?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Speed of the Strike

Work moves fast. In my little sheltered universe it's moving like a McLaren P1. Just so you know....that's fast!

It seems like there are projects, deadlines, external pressures, internal pressures, political landmines, and, oh yes, getting the work done.

Maybe it's similar for you?

Speed Kills
The phrase speed kills often refers to sports team that move fast and win, or cars that blow away the competition. My focus is something a bit different. 

"Speed kills those that can not keep up."

Consider your workplace. Are decisions made slowly and methodically over a series of months? Is there plenty of time to consider every single option so the organization can make "fail-proof" moves? 

Candidly, I can't think of any organization that expects to thrive today that moves that slowly.

Not one.

Need for Speed
There is another way to look at the concept of speed. It can be the energy blast that separates you from your competitors. It can be the rush that drives you to take risks, think big, and lead even bigger.

One thing is very clear though...if you are not moving fast in today's world, you have effectively turned in your leadership card.

How About You
How do you view the pace of your work? Is going fast scary and unsettling? Good! It's supposed to be. Are you running and hiding from it; or, are you fired up about all the possibilities you see?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Make or Break

"Strategy execution is the responsibility that makes or breaks executives."
- Alan Branche and Sam Bodley-Scott

Today I have a singular focus.


Getting to the execution phase of our work requires time, planning, lots of collaborative discussion...

...and doing the work!

My first question today is simple. How do you ensure the executives in your world actually do the work?

Do they talk and talk and talk?
Do they have an endless list of excuses to justify why projects aren't moving forward?

Do you feel like you're doing more of the work than they are?

My second question is more direct. Why are you tolerating this lack of leadership?

How About You
How do you handle the reality of working with leaders who are weak when it comes to executing strategy? It is common, and often requires focused coaching in order for them to improve. What has worked for you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

You Make All the Difference

We have many influencers in our lives. Some of them we're aware of...role models, close colleagues, and supervisors are easy to identify. 

Other influencers are not so obvious...the media, group-think in our organizations and the infamous "society."

I'd like you to take fifteen seconds (not a big ask!) and think about the short list of people who are influential in your life. 

- who are they
- why are they so special to you

Thinking about who and why the influencers in our lives have achieved that important position informs how we are going to behave and make decisions. I'm living proof. When I needed to make a major career decision I leveraged the influencers closest to me to help make that decision.

I'm going to ask for five more seconds. Let's fast forward a few years ahead...and imagine that someone is asking someone you work with who their influencers are. Wouldn't it be amazing if you were on their list?

You can make that a reality. Consider your influencers....integrate your style...and you will be that special person for someone else.

How About You
Some leaders shy away from the responsibility of actively working to be an influencer. Sadly, that means they've decided to stop leading. For others, it is a privilege to be cherished. Which one are you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.